Accra, April 7, GNA - A programme dubbed "Accra Free of Plastic Waste" was launched on Thursday with a twin objective of ridding the city of plastic waste and recycling plastic waste of all kinds. The programme being implemented by the City Waste Management Company encourages school children to pick as many plastic wastes as possible and present them to the plastic waste collection point at James Town for a fee.
The Company's trucks have a capacity of collecting 1,000 kilograms of plastic waste a day. The plastic waste collected is weighed and the presenter paid 800 cedis per kilogram.
Dr Adombire Gheysika Agambilla, Deputy Minister of Environment and Science, who launched the programme, said plastic waste, had become a prime menace to the environment, hence there was the urgent need to deal with it.
"Until every Ghanaian's heart beats with a will to be clean, the plastic waste menace will grow and choke us," he said.
Mr Agambilla said the Government, private companies and individuals must see the plastic waste menace as a major community problem, adding that the Ministry saw it as a priority problem.
A law that required the use of an additive in the manufacturing process of plastic waste and a decision to tax plastic manufacturers and use the money to pay those who collected plastic waste, he said, were some suggestions the Ministry had to deal.
Another suggestion at the Ministry, he said, was the decision to ban the use of plastic sachet for water or as carrying bags and resort to the use of recyclable bottles and bags.
He commended the City Waste Management Company for the establishment of the Plastic Waste Collection Point. Mr Stanley Adjiri Blankson, Chief Executive of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), urged the Company to ensure the sustenance of the programme.
"The programme must be extended to other areas, but at the moment I will advise that you use James Town for a pilot project." The project, if successful, would encourage other communities in Accra to participate.
Mr Blankson said it would also create employment for people in the city and advised prospective collectors to use gloves. The Mayor of Accra used the platform to educate the people on AMA byelaws and said the decongestion exercise carried out in the Central Business District eight weeks ago would be extended to other areas soon. He called on opinion leaders in various communities of Accra to help remove containers and kiosks situated at unauthorized places. "The AMA byelaws are going to be enforced and nothing will stop us; people should surrender themselves to the City's byelaws when they come to the City."
Mr Jurgen Meinel, Technical Director of the Plastic Waste Management Company, said it would start educating school children about the programme.
Selected primary schools in the Metropolis were presented with awards for participating in the plastic waste drawing competition.